A Liverpool coach has ended up being blocked near the team hotel amid second protests at Old Trafford on Thursday evening.
United supporters are planning a second protest before tonight’s rearranged Premier League fixture with Liverpool at Old Trafford to ‘make the Glazers history’ at the club.
Thousands of United fans gathered outside the stadium recently while hundreds congregated outside the team’s hotel at The Lowry, where United’s coaches were unable to leave for the stadium, to voice their opposition to the Glazer family’s ownership. See more on that HERE.
The Premier League has rescheduled United-Liverpool for an 8:15pm kickoff, rather than a weekend slot, so that it will act as a deterrent to fans considering joining in the second protest.
Current scenes outside: pic.twitter.com/U4DEDtw4Uh
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) May 13, 2021
However, an anonymous fans’ group feel so hurt by their owners and empowered by the weekend postponement – the first time a Premier League fixture has been delayed by supporters – that they are calling on 10,000 fans to congregate outside Old Trafford from 5pm, instead only a couple hundred did by that time.
In a statement , the fans’ group said: “Every United fan has now seen the power they collectively hold. Last Sunday’s protests need to be a beginning, not an end.
“The Premier League and the Glazers are terrified the Liverpool fixture could be affected again. It’s our responsibility to make sure it is.
“The protesters at The Lowry undertook a five-hour stint. That’s the sort of action required, but all contributions are of help.
“Next Thursday there needs to be 10,000+ at Old Trafford, from 5pm onwards. Do your bit, play your part, don’t leave it to others.
“Help make the Glazers history.”
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) May 13, 2021
Several Man Utd players arrived at Old Trafford more than six hours before kick-off against Liverpool as the club looks to avoid a repeat of the scenes from 11 days ago, when the match was called off following mass protests at the stadium and outside United’s hotel.
United’s staff and players usually report to The Lowry Hotel before home games, but players drove themselves to the stadium on Thursday afternoon.
The MEN understands United’s two team coaches did dummy runs to the Lowry in an apparent bid to throw off protesters, who continue to campaign against the Glazer family’s ownership of the club.
Manchester Evening News gave live updates on what was happening…
5:42pm – There are in excess of 100 fans here at the moment outside the east stand and on Sir Matt Busby Way. Liverpool are said to still be at their hotel in the city centre.
5:48pm – Protestors’ cars blocking a Liverpool bus here. More arriving. Whether it is the one the players are using to travel to Old Trafford is unclear.
6:00pm – Police are currently clearing the road where a Liverpool bus was stopped earlier. It’s still not clear if that is the official team coach with the squad onboard. It’s also been suggested that protesters deflated the tyres of the vehicle.
6:06pm – Chants of “we’re going on the pitch, again” outside Old Trafford #mufc
6:10pm – The Liverpool bus is now moving again and being led to the stadium by police.
6:19pm – The Liverpool bus is still on it’s way to Old Trafford, but MEN Sport understand players were not on it anyway.
This is the clubs official coach emblazoned with the club’s badge but we understand this isn’t the coach being used to ferry the players to Old Trafford tonight pic.twitter.com/MdgQprGZvY
— Chris Slater (@chrisslaterMEN) May 13, 2021
6:18pm – The size of the crowd has increased in the last 20 minutes or so and there are a few hundred here now, many of them going through the repertoire of anti-Scouse songs. Just like 11 days ago, the main event has been taking place at a city centre hotel. The police presence here today makes any breach nigh-on impossible.
6:37pm – There are more protesters arriving at Old Trafford. Flares are now being set off
— Per-Atle Karlsen (@PerAtleKarlsen) May 13, 2021
6:43pm – More police vans arrive at Old Trafford as the crowd grows. The Liverpool team are yet to arrive.
6:58pm – The Liverpool bus has arrived at Old Trafford. Sky Sports say the players and officials are now inside the stadium.
7:03pm – It almost goes without saying, but just for confirmation the match is still scheduled to kick-off at 8:15pm BST.
We want our club back. #GlazersOut 🔴🔰
— 𓃶 (@TheNineteenRole) May 13, 2021
The two teams are inside Old Trafford now so if the police manage to disperse protesters there should be no further issues.
7:11pm – Fans have dispersed and police have gone back into their vans. Protests came and went pretty quickly on John Gilbert Way.
7:10pm – Liverpool players are in and on the pitch. Red coach was a decoy. Round back entrance away from protesting fans outside normal entrance!
The focus might be on the match ahead now, but supporters are still making their feelings known.
7:48pm – Police statement: “We are aware of a protest currently taking place outside Old Trafford football stadium, with a small number of people seemingly intent on disrupting the fixture.
“Officers are in attendance to maintain safety while facilitating the right to peaceful protest.
“Two arrests have been made relating to public order offences.
Assistant Chief Constable for GMP, Chris Sykes said: “WE have been working closely with Manchester United and partners to ensure those in attendance outside the stadium are kept safe while exercising their right to a peaceful protest.
“The safety of all those concerned remains GMP’s main priority.
“We encourage everyone to remember we are still living under restrictions due to the pandemic and have a collective responsibility to remain safe and protect one another.
“Enforcement remains our last resort, but anyone whose behaviour crosses the boundary into a criminal offence should expect to be prosecuted.”
8:04pm – Two people have been arrested after protests broke out once again outside Old Trafford this evening.
Hundreds of Manchester United fans gathered to demonstrate against the club’s ownership ahead of the match with Liverpool, which was postponed last week after dozens of supporters broke onto the pitch.
On Thursday evening, ahead of the rescheduled game’s kick off at 8.15pm, roads leading to the stadium were blocked by masses of police and supporters.
MAN UTD TEAM NEWS
Team to play Liverpool: Henderson, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw, Fred, Pogba, McTominay, Fernandes, Rashford, Cavani.
Subs: De Gea, Mata, Greenwood, Traore, Telles, Matic, B Williams, Van de Beek, Tuanzebe.
LIVERPOOL TEAM NEWS
Team to play Man Utd: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, R Williams, Robertson, Thiago, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Salah, Jota, Firmino.
Subs: Adrian, Kelleher, Mane, Jones, Tsimikas, Shaqiri, Origi, Woodburn, N Williams.
Liverpool players are in. Red coach was a decoy. Round back entrance away from protesting fans outside normal entrance!
— The United Star (@TheUnitedStar2) May 13, 2021
WHAT GARY NEVILLE SAID:
Neville believes that little will change at United, insisting that the “prison” feel around the ground highlights the huge disconnect between the club and its fan base.
“I think what we saw in the last couple of answers, which I thought were some of the most important words that Ian Stirling spoke, were the last ones that they don’t trust the ownership and they don’t feel like they are going to deliver on the promises that have been made, but also the regulation and the fan-led review that Ian referred to is absolutely critical,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“What we have at the moment is a Manchester United fan base which is wound up more than it’s ever been before, back in 2010 and 2005, and you’ve got football fans all over the country who have been wound up in the last few weeks.
“I think what the Glazer family and the other owners of the other five clubs actually demonstrated was that the danger to their own clubs isn’t just contained to their own clubs, they’re actually willing to damage every football fan in this country.
“I think that has created the anger and resurfaced the anger in the last few weeks, so there are a number of different facets to that interview in terms of points that were made. Do I think that the Glazer family will give up a controlling interest to the point whereby they are led by fans?
“No, I don’t, I don’t think they will ever do that, I think they would sell before that came in, but the regulation that could be imposed upon football, fingers crossed, in the next few months by the Government, could mean that the owners have to look at football clubs in different ways.
“I think the European Super League was such a damaging proposal that was brought forward off the back of Big Picture six months ago, that was another power grab.
“I think the trust of the ownership in this country for the big six has now gone completely and the most important factor is that there are protections put in place, with legislations in Government, to stop what would be these owners damaging the importance of the game in this country.
“I think that the share scheme that they have issued in the New York stock exchange is a secondary voting right so they have no real power and no real teeth.
“What the fans are asking for is a vote that matters, ultimately, that will be something that will be looked at within the fan-led review. Independent directors, look, Joel Glazer has said in the last week that he’s going to communicate with fans and change the direction where the club communicates with players.
“Let’s be clear, what we’ve seen on that full-court before which is effectively Man United turned into a prison, it’s a devastating image for the Manchester United Football Club brand around the world, let’s just note that.
“You have to put prison walls up around your ground and have hundreds and hundreds of police officers on a game where fans aren’t attending, there is something that has gone badly wrong.
“So, Joel Glazer has said he’s going to communicate with fans, we heard in that interview that the only two times he’s communicated previously is through apologies. I’m not sure how Joel Glazer is going to be able to communicate effectively with these fans because he doesn’t talk their language, he doesn’t understand where they’re at, he doesn’t feel this club.
“They’re detached completely from the ethos, the passion that the supporters feel, I’m not sure how he can communicate effectively. So, I’d be interested to see what he is going to do because they’ve asked quite clearly for those four things. I doubt quite a lot that the fans will get a golden share.
“Do I think that independent directors could potentially be sitting in board meetings whereby they’re given certain types of information? Maybe, but that won’t wash, really. The fans want a part of the club that ultimately means something.
“We’ll watch with interest in these next few hours and these next few weeks and next few months on how this plays out, but I think they’ve got a very difficult job to walk back down the street, the Glazer family, to where they’ve been for 16 years because they’ve proven before how they want to operate within the club.”
🗣”When you have to put prison walls around your ground something has gone badly wrong.” @GNev2 reacts to the current scenes at Old Trafford and what is next for the Glazer family at Manchester United #MUNLIV pic.twitter.com/jSEUqBSsBR
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) May 13, 2021
6:53pm – It looks like Liverpool are finally making their way to the ground. Sky Sports add the team coach is getting a police escort from the hotel. Players and officials boarded the bus around 6.30pm and are expected at the ground shortly following a two-mile journey.
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) May 13, 2021
6:55pm – We await Liverpool bus arrival, a wall of police are stood outside the stadium. Protesters now gathered outside the John Gilbert Entrance. Wall of police to greet them. “We decide when you will play” being sung again
— Tyrone Marshall (@TyMarshall_MEN) May 13, 2021
Fans reacted after seeing the Liverpool coach blocked near the team hotel amid protests at Old Trafford…
@_g0rdie: Just void the game and give @LFC 3 points. What a waste of time.
@brianhboyle: I expected them to play a high line today but not this high
@CamNChill: Could not be prouder of this fanbase! Refusing to stop until they been heard and listened to enough is enough #GlazersOut
@RiZzyUTD: Deduct Liverpool points for being late!!!!
@TheFergusonWay: The tyres on the bus have been punctured 😭😭
@OsowsOsian: Talk about parking the bus 🤣
@NeilTheKid: I’ve already said I expect it to go ahead tonight and that I’m 100% behind the protests. The game being called off last week, a £200m sponsor walking away are big messages. They have to take notice. I don’t expect them to sell but they have to let fans in. #GlazersOut
@Jonny_Riley: Great turnout again. Hope nothing distracts from the message this time. This is on the Premier League, for allowing a leveraged, debt-riden takeover all those years ago. Get them out. #GlazersOut
@Wegqy: Great to see the protests continue. Green and gold until the club is sold #GlazersOut
@mikeyambrose: I completely support the #GlazersOut protests and would be there if possible. However, further violence or vandalism are completely unacceptable and protestors should remain outside the ground imo… #MUNLIV
@bluewoodski: Award Liverpool the points and dock united 10 points. Sorted.
@ManUtdChris: Greedy owners have no place in our club. #SeeRed. Report it. Stop it. #GlazersOut
@willscott36: Charlie Brook proving that they just don’t get it. The Glazers, Woodward, him, Murtough are all just so out of touch with the fans. #GlazersOut
@jonnyescott: Not the outcome we were hoping for but I’ll tell you one thing, at least we gave it a good go instead of some of you cranks sat at home moaning about it and then willingly watching this club turn to shite
@redb92: When you blow a load of dough on barriers, police, decoy buses ,extra security and turning boxes into bedrooms for players to rest, but you wont to give your women’s team decent changing rooms…this is what @manutd has become, time for change #GlazersOut
@Lucifer_wild1: A leaking roof. No toilets or adequate facilities for the ladies. Carbuncle barricades that look like they were imported from North Korea. These reasons alone are a sad indictment of the current ownership. WELCOME TO GLAZERS MANCHESTER UNITED
— Lucas_MUFC (@MufcLucas) May 13, 2021
Don’t worry, back up is coming pic.twitter.com/fRmgDu7RXj
— Duncan Wainscott (@folkyvale) May 13, 2021
No matter what, tonight has been a win. It shows how easily and quickly the Glazers can do things when they want and need to. The images of Ole Trafford as Alcatraz are horrific, and really shows them up for their false promises. #GlazersOut pic.twitter.com/0n5mATSt3P
— Will Scott (@willscott36) May 13, 2021
We’re in a situation where the stadium is falling apart, fans are being locked away from the stadium, billions have been taken from the club, the owners haven’t been to a game for 3 years and have turned the club into a laughing stock. Fuck off you glazer puppet.. #GlazersOut 🔰 https://t.co/Ny92eEaK8b
— Eric Bailly 🔰 (@UtdEricc) May 13, 2021